Facebook Leader Explain Why Los Lunas was Chosen for their Data Center

By Rachel Sapin – Reporter, Albuquerque Business First
From Article published by Albuquerque Business First on Sep 14, 2017

Albuquerque is a competitive region that is finally seeing results, and Facebook is no longer a pie-in-the-sky project but a real, growing entity. Those were the standout themes of Albuquerque Economic Development Inc. quarterly investors’ luncheon held Thursday at the Sandia Resort and Casino.

“The economic impact of this is unbelievable,” said Gary Tonjes, president of AED.

Tonjes said if Facebook builds all six buildings that could be part of its data center in Los Lunas over the next eight years, the company will have invested more money in data center construction here than what has been invested in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque over the last eight years for every type of construction project except for government projects.

KC Timmons, a data center operations official with Facebook’s West Region, was the luncheon’s keynote speaker.

“Why ABQ? It’s the people here,” Timmons said. He said New Mexico was right away available to provide construction workers for the massive project. He said 650 construction workers are on the site today with that number headed to become 1,000.

“Over 80 percent are from New Mexico,” he said of those workers.

Located in the Huning Ranch Business Park just off of Interstate 25, the first $250-million phase of the data center is set to open late next year. In July, Facebook officials announced it was expanding the data center to include a second 460,000-square-foot building — bringing the center’s total square footage to 980,000.

Timmons said additional jobs can come to a data center through construction jobs associated with expansion and through facility operations and site operations. He pointed to a study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that states typical large data centers create nearly 1,700 direct and indirect jobs in a state.

Business First recently wrote in-depth about the Facebook data center project, which is one of the biggest projects ever to happen in Los Lunas, and how it could transform the village.